Home > apple, life, reviews, tech > On iPhone 2.0, Shazam and the future of music

On iPhone 2.0, Shazam and the future of music

Shazam!

Shazam!

Like every other Valley Apple fan boy, I’ve been spending lots of time downloading, discussing and evangelizing iPhone apps.

My favorite app right now, bar none, is Shazam. I cannot believe that the list of fawning servile fans of this app is so small, but let me be the first in line. Not only is the app usable and ridiculously useful, IMHO it points to something the music industry should have been working on for a long time.

What is Shazam? its an app that you install on your cellphone and run whenever you come across a track that you can’t recognize (which happens ALL the time to most of us at the gym, the car radio, and if you are a major Kenny G fan, in elevators). Once the app “listens” to a few seconds of the song, it sends the audio fingerprint up to the server and figures out the actual song and sends it down to the device. You can then proceed to purchase the track (at least on the iPhone you can) or watch a YouTube video.

This is great, but it is rendered more powerful by the iTunes model of music. Several commentators smarter than me have commented on how the album – a collection of songs sold as a whole – is still a valid form of music retail.

Based upon my personal behavior over the last 2 years, I call bullshit.

Purchasing music now is like purchasing a stick of gum while standing in line at Safeway. Or the National Enquirer if you want to be trashy about it. In other words, music purchases are starting to be impulse buys. You hear a great track, you WANT TO BUY IT RIGHT THERE. Given the low price point of 99 cents, you don’t think twice about making a purchase RIGHT NOW.

This impulse has been around since iTunes started to take off but its been dormant. I hear a great track on Entourage, I have to do the heavy lifting of remembering the stupid lyric, Googling the lyric (game over right there), finding the track on iTunes and then paying 99 cents for the privilege. Uhh, no thanks.

On the other hand, Shazam greases that impulse better than anything out there on the market right now. Plus, it retails for FREE via the appStore.

What’s not to love??

Categories: apple, life, reviews, tech Tags: , , ,
  1. Cesar A. Rodriguez
    August 18, 2008 at 8:11 am

    Legit observation! Given that the iPhone has spatial awareness, an eye, and an ear, I wonder what other pattern detection tricks will be possible?

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